Our journey through the universe now lands on the penultimate Hitchhikers book written by Douglas Adams (there is yet another book after the next one called And Another Thing… Written by Eoin Colfer which I haven’t got so won’t be reading until I buy it.)
This is the first book that really splits the crew up. The story is all about Arthur who has found himself on Earth after it was supposedly blown up by the Vogons. Arthur is then able to fall in love and fly about having sex.
We’ll come to that later.
There is a running story of how Ford Prefect gets back to Earth as well as the death of Marvin at the end but the book fully focuses on Arthur and the girl from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy who had figured out what it was all about and how to make everything good and happy before she died.
It does just so happen to be my least favourite book as I kind of loved the dynamics between all the characters and even when they had been separated and Ford and Arthur were hanging out with Slartibartfast the chemistry was just better. As it is the story of Arthur and Fenchurch (for that is the woman’s name) is bogged down by the relationship. I know that was half the point of the story and it was nice that Arthur had gotten to be just himself with someone he truly just loved but it was all a bit too much.
I think my main problem was that for having spent the whole of the last few books being told how big the universe is and just how different, yet funnily enough exactly the same, all these places were to have Arthur then back on Earth falling in love with a girl who floats is a bit…. Small?
I mean I’ve been told that falling in love is the biggest adventure some people have but for someone who doesn’t really like human contact and never plans on falling in love, or at least gave up on the idea years ago, it just didn’t feel important enough a story to be told in a whole book. Not to mention just how fast it all happened and how understanding Fenchurch was of everything. It just all happened and I wished I’d taken the books advice and skipped ahead a few chapters because I didn’t really need to know about them having sex in the sky after Arthur teaches Fenchurch how to fly. It was funny I’ll grant you that but it was also kind of… Out of place? Insular?
There is a story connecting to how Earth came back but it kind of just didn’t matter much. There was a fish bowl which ended up being the story of how people saved the Earth and then just because they could a giant robot thing came to Earth, went on holiday and left again taking Arthur and Fenchurch to the planet that Prak told Arthur about at the end of the last book where they see that Gods last message was “Sorry for the Inconvenience” which lets Marvin die in peace with the universe (in which he’s become like 10 times older then.)
It was different. It was nice to see Arthur happy, it was also nice to hear that Trillian and Zaphod seemed happy wherever they are according to Ford, or maybe I’m just remembering that bit wrong.
I just felt like a series of books that told us how big and amazing this universe was then made everything very small. As someone who wished I could escape from this planet and hitchhike across the galaxy I didn’t really care for a story that mostly took place in and around Taunton and London.
I live like a hour and a half away from Taunton by the way. Maybe a little longer.
I didn’t find the story half as funny or as charming as the others but I am a sucker for Arthur Dent.